Renaissance Castles

Loire France: (IT-FRABR02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_loire_escape_ride.aspx

Introduction
Loire France
The Loire is the longest river in France and its banks are lined with beautiful forestland and handsome vineyards. Immersed in the landscape of beauty and nobility, the more you will come to understand why French aristocracy once flourished here and built their magnificent castles. The Loire valley has preserved its stately charm and lifestyle - the cuisine here is forever exclusive and refined, with splendid and distinguished wines. This horse riding holiday in the Loire provides riders with a pampered vacation experience with the best in local cuisine, wine, the arts and a endlessly romantic landscape that will seduce the hearts of travelers near and far.

This journey across the Loire landscapes and its forest areas is a leap into history of the Middle Ages but mostly the Renaissance. At the time, the royal house of Valois-Orléans-Angoulême had enough power and means to build fancy castles instead of fortresses. The Loire Valley offers a mild climate, fertile soils and biodiversity as well as monasteries, cathedrals, and of course, castles.

Accomodation

Accommodation
Progressive option: This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations.
Stationary option: This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
Accommodation in B&B or hotels with private facilities and free Wi-Fi available everywhere.

Progressive Option Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Day 1 & 7- Hotel Restaurant “l’Auberge de l’Ecole” in Pontlevoy or Hotel Restaurant « L'Hostellerie du Château » in Chaumont-sur-Loire
Day 2- Hotel-Restaurant «l’Agriculture » in Tour-de-Sologne
Day 3- Hotel du Cygne in Bracieux
Day 4 & 5- Hotel Restaurant « L'Hostellerie du Château » in Chaumont-sur-Loire
Day 6- Hotel Restaurant « le Pigeonnier » in Saint Martin le Beau

L’Auberge de l’Ecole at Pontlevoy
This auberge used to be a relay station and was in service for over 100 years. Nowadays, the auberge offers 11 renovated bedroom tastefully decorates with a rustic charm. The rooms all come equipped with a TV, a telephone and an ensuite bathroom with hairdryer. WiFi is available in public areas and guests can relax in the small garden.

L'Hostellerie du Château at Chaumont-sur-Loire
This hotel is located in a beautiful village listed on the UNESCO heritage list. The imposing building offers 15 bedrooms, all uniquely decorated and fitted with a TV, Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. There is a common area where guests can read a book or play a board game. The property also features a garden and an outdoor swimming pool.

L’Agriculture at Tour-de-Sologne
Located in the heart of the Loire Valley, this hotel offers 16 bedrooms fitted with all necessities: heating, TV, free Wi-Fi and private bathroom. This accommodation also offers common areas, where guests can relax, and a lovely outside patio.

Hotel du Cygne at Bracieux
This hotel, originally founded in 1880, offers simple accommodations in fully equipped bedrooms (TV, Wi-Fi and private bathroom with hairdryer). There is a beautiful terrace and a heated outdoor swimming pool which guests can enjoy year round.

Le Pigeonnier in Saint Martin le Beau
This charming hotel offers comfortable rooms, all equipped with a heater and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available in the breakfast room.


Center-based Option Accommodation
In the heart of the Loire Valley, Le Relais des Landes offers an ideal stopover to visit the favorite region of the Kings and Queens of France, its castles and vineyards. Dating back to the 17th century, this manor house located in the middle of a 14 hectare flower and planted park will allow you to appreciate the charm of a real mansion, complete with an indoor heated swimming pool on the edge of the forest.

Room Occupancy
Double or Twin rooms available. It is possible to request a single room but a supplement applies.
We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible you may be placed in single room with a supplement to be paid.



Meals
All meals are included.

Continental breakfasts served at your accommodation.
The lunches are buffets with a wide choice (adapted to particular diets) & wine.
Dinner in the bed and breakfast, restaurant or hotel (wine not included for dinner).

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Ability
This ride is for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on a varied terrain, in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. You should be able to control the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances and be able to ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.
There are certain sections of the trail where we might need to lead the horses. It is recommended that you be in good physical condition in order to participate.
Previous experience of trail rides over a number of days would be beneficial but is not required.
Riders who, on their own initiative, ask not to ride during the stay will be charged 300 euros for the transport of the horse.

Pace

The pace is varied depending on the terrain, with long periods of walk and plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop. We ride around 5-6 hours riding each day

Horses
Most of our horses were born on the farm. They live in herds in a 70 acre field and this is what makes them strong. This social lifestyle is very close to their ideal living conditions, which is a natural environment.
Every horse has its own character, but all are gentle, balanced, and multi-talented.
The horses are a mixture of purebred Arabian and Paint horses as well as Arabian/Paint crossbreds and Thoroughbreds.
The relationship with the riders and our horses is crucial. Above all, we place attention on the welfare and education of our horses.

Tack & Equipment
Our saddles are a French trail saddle (JMS brands), which blend the best of English and western styles to make the perfect trail saddle. Horses will work in bridles with Myler bits.
Saddlebags, poncho, and water are provided. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

Logistics
There is a support van for the transport of luggage and riders. It is possible for a rider or a non-riding companion to follow along the horse riders in the van.
We ask the riders to have only one suitcase (size 69x47x27) and one handbag.

Group Size & Staff
Riding groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 riders, plus the Guide and the Translator.
David (GTE/ BPJEPS TE) is a certified Equestrian Tour Guide. He creates the routes and leads all the riding tours. He is also a trainer of apprentice instructors in Equestrian Tourism.
Britta is your riding companion and translator (English, Dutch, German, and Spanish). She is always available to facilitate any language concerns.

Facilities
The Farm covers 30 hectares (75 acres) of woods and meadows and facilities include a covered riding arena, rolling pastures, a round pen, cross country terrain, as well as a multitude of riding and hiking trails.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary: Progressive option - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Montrichard train station, transfer at 6.30 pm to your hotel. Dinner at 8:00pm.
Meals included:  Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Restaurant “l’Auberge de l’Ecole” in Pontlevoy or Hotel Restaurant "L'Hostellerie du Château" in Chaumont-sur-Loire


Day 2: Ride to Cheverny
After the presentation and distribution of the horses, we leave to reach Fougères sur Bièvre. We have lunch at the foot of this castle. It offers the ideal image of a small castle of the end of the 15th century with a curtain wall, a dungeon, gunboats, a walkway and machicolations. At the end of the afternoon, the beautifully furnished Cheverny Castle welcomes us for the visit.. The Cheverny castle, beautifully furnished, also welcomes us for a visit. This property is owned by the same family for more than 6 centuries. There you’ll discover a fantastic heritage, authentic and still vibrant.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel-Restaurant «l’Agriculture » in Tour-de-Sologne


Day 3: Cheverny to Chambord
In the morning, we ride to Chambord where we have a picnic. Chambord is the largest castle of the Loire area. Its architectural achievement is unmatched, a wonder of elegance in the heart of an extensive natural forest reserve (13,850 acres). We visit the castle after lunch and then keep riding to the Villesavin castle (16th century), which was mostly kept in a perfect integrity through the centuries.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel du Cygne in Bracieux


Day 4: Chambord to Beauregard Castle
We ride through the forest to have our daily picnic at Beauregard castle. Built under François 1er , this former hunting farm of Chambord has always been famous thanks to its gallery of 327 portraits of well-known characters and other remarkable qualities. Visit of the castle before riding to Candé-dur-Beuvron.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Restaurant "L'Hostellerie du Château" in Chaumont-sur-Loire


Day 5: Beauregard Castle to Chaumont-sur-Loire
We ride along the Loire to Chaumont-sur-Loire. A charming village and UNESCO World Heritage site, Chaumont is also well-known for its feudal castle (late 15th cent) overlooking the valley and the village. We have a picnic next to the castle and enjoy a visit in the afternoon. Not to be missed, its stables built in the 19th cent, are considered as the most luxurious in Europe at the time. We then cross the Sudais Forest to reach our night stop.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at
Hotel Restaurant "L'Hostellerie du Château" in Chaumont-sur-Loire

Day 6: Chaumont-sur-Loire to Amboise
Departure at 10 am on horseback. To reach Amboise, we go back over the hillside and discover some areas of vineyards and cereal crops to arrive in Amboise for the picnic and visit the castle. The fifteenth century is the prosperous period of Amboise that the Kings Louis XI, Charles VIII, and François I ° enlarged and embellished . In the afternoon, we cross the forest of Amboise to reach Saint Martin le Beau where the family Guestault, which manages the hotel and the family restaurant, receives us to taste their wines of Touraine and Montlouis.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Restaurant « le Pigeonnier » in Saint Martin le Beau


Day 7: Amboise to Chenonceau
After breakfast, we go down into the Cher Valley, a river that we run along for long gallops. Thus, we head to the magnificent castle of Chenonceau built on the Cher. Named "Château des Dames" for the history of France, built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, embellished successively by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, Chenonceau was saved from the rigors of the Revolution by Madame Dupin. It is the flagship of the Loire Valley. We have lunch on the site and we visit the castle. In the early afternoon, we leave the banks of the Cher to arrive the evening stage in the town of Pontlevoy.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Restaurant “l’Auberge de l’Ecole” in Pontlevoy or Hotel Restaurant "L'Hostellerie du Château" in Chaumont-sur-Loire


Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, time to say “goodbye” and depart for the Montrichard train station around 9:00 am.
Meals included: Breakfast



Sample Itinerary: Center-based option - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Montrichard train station, transfer at 6.30 pm to your accommodation. Dinner at 8:00pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 2: Ride to Fougères sur Bièvre
After the presentation and distribution of the horses, we leave to reach Fougères sur Bièvre. We have lunch at the restaurant. It offers the ideal image of a small castle of the end of the 15th century with a curtain wall, a dungeon, gunboats, a walkway and machicolations. In the late afternoon, we resume our journey to our hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes


Day 3: Ride to Chaumont-sur-Loire
We ride along the Loire to Chaumont-sur-Loire. A charming village and UNESCO World Heritage site, Chaumont is also well-known for its feudal castle (late 15th cent) overlooking the valley and the village. Lunch at the restaurant and enjoy a visit of the castle in the afternoon. Not to be missed, its stables built in the 19th cent, are considered as the most luxurious in Europe at the time. After the visit of the castle, we join our hotel on horseback.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 4: No Riding
After breakfast, we go by bus to the castle of Chenonceau built on the Cher. Named "Château des Dames" , it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet and embellished successively by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis. Chenonceau was saved from the rigors of the Revolution by Madame Dupin. It is the flagship of the Loire Valley. We have lunch onsite and we visit the castle. We then go to Amboise to visit this castle of the 15th century and for a shopping opportunity in the city.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 5: Ride to Beauregard Castle
We ride through the forest to have our daily picnic at Beauregard castle. Built under François 1er , this former hunting farm of Chambord has always been famous thanks to its gallery of 327 portraits of well-known characters and other remarkable qualities. After the visit of the castle, we leave with our horses for the castle of Villesavin. Transfer by minibus to the hotel Le Relais des Landes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 6: Ride to Chambord
In the morning, we ride to Chambord where we have a picnic. Chambord is the largest castle of the Loire area. Its architectural achievement is unmatched, a wonder of elegance in the heart of an extensive natural forest reserve (13,850 acres). We visit the castle after lunch and then keep riding to the Villesavin castle (16th century), which was mostly kept in a perfect integrity through the centuries. Transfer by minibus to the hotel Le Relais des Landes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 7: Ride to Cheverny
This morning, the beautifully furnished Cheverny Castle welcomes us for the visit.. The Cheverny castle, beautifully furnished, also welcomes us for a visit. This property is owned by the same family for more than 6 centuries. There you’ll discover a fantastic heritage, authentic and still vibrant. Lunch at the restaurant. In the afternoon we join our base Le Relais des Landes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Le Relais des Landes

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, time to say “goodbye” and depart for the Montrichard train station around 9:00 am.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Renaissance Castles

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Wine with lunch & 6 riding days
Saddlebags, ponchos and water are provided during this trip.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20218 day trip, AP€1945$2315
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.19

Rates Note:

Single supplement will be applied if we cannot find another rider to share.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Rates Note:

Single supplement will be applied if we cannot find another rider to share.


Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2021 Pick-up/ drop-off from Montrichard train station roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2021 Single supplement 460 $550
2021 Non-rider rate 1,340 $1,595

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 06/19 - 06/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 5 /10 Sold Out
A 2021 06/27 - 07/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 5 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/10 - 07/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 5 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/18 - 07/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 5 /10 Sold Out
A 2021 07/31 - 08/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 5 /10 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages in hotels and restaurants, Transfers from/to Montrichard train station, Wine tastings, Entrance fees & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Renaissance Castles of the Loire (IT-FRABR02):
If your booking is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to postpone your trip to a later date in 2020 at no extra fee (depending on availability). It is also possible to postpone your trip to 2021, but you will need to pay the price difference.

With regards to accommodations and restaurants, the French government has imposed strict health rules for all establishments receiving guests so we trust our yearlong partners to apply them correctly for our clients.
Regarding horse riding, the equipment is cleaned and disinfected between each stay. In addition, it is only our team that prepares the horses and manipulates the tack and clients team up with the same horse for the whole week .
Our lunches are served as a buffet but instead of it being self-service, it is our team who will provide the service.
Hydro alcoholic gel will be available freely throughout the horse trail .
We don't impose wearing a mask on the trail (the French riding federation and the French government don't require wearing one while horse riding) but of course, riders can bring their own mask for hotels, restaurants & sightseeing visits if they feel the need of wearing one .
We ask that you follow the hygienic measures below during your stay:
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water (access to which must be facilitated by providing disposable towels) or by hydro-alcoholic friction;
  • systematically cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into your elbow;
  • blow your nose in a disposable handkerchief and dispose of it immediately in a trash can;
  • avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • masks must be worn systematically by everyone when the rules of physical distance cannot be guaranteed.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Hotel on day one.
Airport: Paris - Charles de Gaulle
Transfer:

Climate:
                                                     Tours area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

45

48

55

60

67

74

78

78

72

62

52

47

Average Low Temperature (°F)

35

35

39

41

48

53

57

56

52

47

40

36

Average High Temperature (°C)

7

9

13

16

19

23

26

26

22

17

11

8

Average Low Temperature (°C)

2

2

4

5

9

12

14

13

11

8

4

2

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

10

9

9

8

9

6

6

5

6

8

9

10

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The Loire region benefits from a mild climate created by mild breezes blowing in from the Atlantic. The Loire is often the line of demarcation in France's weather, between the Northern climate and the Southern.

You can expect frequent showers in the spring months, whereas the summer brings humid heat. The balmy autumn season produces brilliant red and gold foliage, and lively festivals take place in many towns and villages to celebrate the grape harvest. A damp chill settles over The Loire Valley in winter, and many of the chateaux close for the season.

What To Bring:
The luggage is transported in vehicle and transferred to each accommodation. We ask that riders only bring one suitcase (69x47x27) and one handbag.

…  this list is only a guideline for you
Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat
A riding helmet is not provided by us, but is is recommended for adults and mandatory for minors during the horse ride. 


PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit


ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection - mosquitos may be around in the evenings and early mornings.
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun protection lotion and lip balm